6 banging wedding favours and awesome table decoration ideas that will be a proper hit with your guests

You and your partner have invited all of your favourite people to celebrate your love on your wedding day, and you think you’d like to say thank you to them for their unwavering support with a gift. Well, my friends, that is what we call a wedding favour, and alongside a centrepiece of flowers, they’re often a focal point of wedding table decoration.

But you don’t want to give them any old tat, oh hell no. You want to give a gift that is cool and special, perhaps something that reminds them of you, and probably something they can cherish for at least a little while.

I’ve seen some brilliantly creative ideas for wedding favours and table decorations over my 14 years of being a wedding photographer in Cumbria, so I thought it’d be nice if I shared some of my favourites with you, in the hopes that I can help spark some ideas in your lovely head.


1. Handmade napkins and hand drawn maps


This wedding favour idea comes from Esther and Cameron’s wedding reception at Threlkeld Village Hall in Cumbria. On their minimally-styled tables they placed hand drawn illustrated maps of places that are special to them as a couple.

Then, upon each guest’s plate was a handmade napkin that they could take home with them and reuse – they chose to do this as Esther’s job involves working with fabrics. It’s a lovely, personal and eco-friendly idea for a wedding favour.

I can totally imagine those napkins on their friends’ dining tables for years to come, making even the most basic readymeal or beans on toast feel way fancier.


2. Boozy shots and cruise ships


I love this idea from Dani and Matty, who met on a Caribbean Cruise in the Teens Club. When they had their wedding reception at Skitby House in the Cumbrian countryside, they named their tables after the ships, and then adorned them with pretty flowers.

They also placed shots on the tables as a wedding favour for each guest, to get everyone into the spirit of things – quite literally. Each had a little rhyme written on it: “we tied the knot, now take a shot!” and at the end of the speeches, everyone downed them at the same time.

It was such a fun wedding favour idea, and although I wish I could’ve joined them, I got some cracking photos of this silly and special moment.


3. Small succulents and gin bottles


Next up is a rather classy and cool idea from Nancy and Jon. They decorated their perfectly unfussy rustic tables at Kirklinton Hall in Cumbria with colourful flowers in empty gin bottles, along with simple glassware and cutlery on a napkin, and a nametag tied on a piece of rope.

The happy couple gifted each guest their own little succulent to take home and cherish forever (or, if less green-fingered, at least a couple of weeks). Giving a plant as a wedding favour is such a lovely idea, as I don’t think you can ever have too many plants. Plus, it’s always nice to add a little extra greenery to your wedding tables.


4. Kendal Mint Cake and cute crochet props


Supplying your guests with a whole wooden crate full of very Cumbrian mementoes as wedding favours is a bloody amazing idea, and that’s what Heather and Will did at their reception at Yew Tree Farm.

The wedding favours crate included Romney’s Kendal Mint Cake (“the original energy bar”, carried on the first successful summit of Mount Everest in 1953, made in the Cumbrian town of Kendal), maps of Cumbria fells (or big hills and mountains, for any southerners reading this), and Derwent pencils, made in Cumbria since 1832.

Heather and Will’s wedding tables were also proper personal to them – each table had its own theme, with accessories and super cute crochet props. I absolutely loved this attention to detail.


5. Handy name badges and bookmarks


The next idea comes from Alyx and Dan’s wedding reception at Coppermines, a gorgeous wedding venue in the Lake District. Their wedding favours were Acrylic names that could be used as bookmarks, and the table plan was made up of pin badges, so that guests could learn each other’s names.

I think name badges are such a great idea in situations like a wedding – it avoids any awkward introductions or those moments of dread when you forget someone’s name, and you can’t ask again because you’ve already asked at least twice in the space of 2 hours…

The tables were then decorated with gorgeous and colourful dog-friendly flowers, as it was a dog-friendly wedding, the table chart had their favourite football players from Aston Villa styled in the form of beer mats, and they wore personalised converse too. What a cool pair.


6. Wonderful wildflower seeds and sweets


Finally, a bloody lovely wedding favour idea. Jennifer and Joe held their eco-friendly and fully vegan wedding reception at Blaithwaite House, a gorgeous country estate in Cumbria. Their wedding favours were wildflower seeds, which is a very sweet idea, and I just love what they wrote on the seed packets:

“Plant these seeds and as you watch them grow think of Jen and Joe.”

And, somehow even sweeter, they also popped Love Heart sweets in each guest’s place, and had Hesket Newmarket Brewery beer bottles decorating the tables – each one matched the table names which were named after their favourite Cumbrian fells, along with a beautiful illustration.


I hope this has got your creative juices flowing and your brain ticking away with some fun wedding favours and table decoration ideas that are personal and perfect for you and your wedding guests.

If you’ve still got lots of wedding planning left to do and need a lil help, check out my previous blog post, The ultimate 11-step wedding day timeline from a wedding photographer of 14 years. Or, if you are looking for ideas on how to entertain your guests, check out another of my blog posts, 22 ideas for entertaining your guests.



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